Summary: Message based on loving God, but using a couple other passages to support the idea that obeying God is how we show our love.

Proving Your Love for God

Matthew 22:34-40 & other Scriptures

September 21, 2008


Have you ever said something in school, maybe on the playground, and someone said, “Oh yeah? Prove it!”

And so you’ve gotta step and show them that you’re really not afraid to stick your tongue on a frozen flag pole.

I didn’t have too many episodes like that. I was usually the smallest guy in my class, so I spent most of my recesses just trying not to get beat up.

I don’t think anyone likes to be put into a corner where they have to prove what they’ve put out there with their lips.

But there are areas of life when mere talk doesn’t cut it. There are times when we have to step up and prove that what we say is really true.

And one of the key areas of life is in our love for God.

I think just about everyone in this room would probably say they love God.

And I hope that’s true.

But Scripture challenges us to “prove it.”

So how do we do that? How do we prove our love for God in such a way that tells God and others that we’re serious about loving God?

How do we avoid just being a religious bag of wind that’s quick to say they love God but has nothing in their life to show it?

That’s what I want to show you today from God’s Word.

God: We continue to look at the passage we looked at last week in our trip through the gospel of Matthew.

It’s three days before Jesus would be crucified and He’s been engaging in a number of conversations and debates up to this point.

The religious leaders are in panic mode because Jesus has shut them down time after time, in the presence of countless numbers of people in town for the largest festival of the year, Passover.

So they come to Him one more time trying to trap Him in His words.

Matthew 22:34-40 (p. 699) –

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

37 Jesus replied: "’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Last week I discussed the fact that the bottom line of the Greatest Commandment to love God is that we are to love God with everything in us – heart, soul, and mind.

That loving God means not trying to compartmentalize your life into sections, with your “God” section being separated from all the others, but rather giving Him control of every aspect of your life – your work, your play, your family, your money, your dreams and ambitions, whatever.

Today I want us to look at the idea that love for God is an active love that involves our participation.

We tend to think of love as being strictly or primarily an emotion, but while there is an emotional aspect of it, love entails a whole lot more than just the emotions.

I’ll talk more about that in a bit, but I want to look at the question that’s really at the heart of all this: how do we show our love for God the way we should?

How do we prove that we really love God?

To do that, I want to look at two other passages of Scripture that really spell it out for us.

1 John 5:3

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.

To love God is to obey God.

A lot of people have an emotional attachment to God.

They “like” God, don’t have a negative impression of Him, they may have a real deep “love” for God on an emotional level.

Emotion is fine and good. I hope that Christians love God with their emotions. But emotion isn’t enough, according to Scripture.

Jesus says much the same thing in John 14:23-24

23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”

Jesus makes the connection between His words and the words of the Father. In other words, when you’re obeying Jesus, you’re obeying the Father.

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